From Publisher Heather Baker: Back to School


While August is technically still summer, in the Baker household, it’s the time when much of the summer vacation festivities wind down, and school becomes our main focus.

My oldest, Hunter, will be embarking on his second to last year of high school. He’s a junior this year, and I’m both excited to watch as he develops into a great young man and saddened to see my baby boy grow up.

My youngest, Savvy, is headed for the sixth grade, and I’m as thrilled as she is for all the new middle school experiences that await her.

And though these kids are separated by a few years and grade levels, they have one thing in common: school shopping lists.

Whether it’s supplies, new clothes, new shoes or more, the Bakers will be doing a whole lot of shopping in the coming weeks to make sure we are school ready. And that’s one of the reasons why I’m so excited to feature the West Little Rock Guide in this month’s edition; it’s where most of our list will be bought!

As a proud resident of west Little Rock, I’m well aware of all the great places there are to shop, visit and dine. Our goal this month was show you, our loyal readers, all this part of town has to offer. Flip to our guide, or better yet, take a drive out to west Little Rock and stay awhile. You might see me there!

But before I send the kids off to school, Joel and I have at least one more fun family getaway up our sleeve. As is tradition, we’ll load up in our Jeep and head for one of Arkansas’ many exciting, outdoor vacation spots. This year, we’ll be returning to a family favorite: Searcy County.

Though you might not be aware of it now, there’s much to do in Searcy County. We’re all familiar with the Buffalo National River, which winds its way through the northern Arkansas county. But did you know it’s also considered the Chocolate Roll Capital of the World?

We love going to the Kenda Drive-In in Marshall, which is the oldest of its kind in the whole state. And just across the highway is one of our favorite pizza joints. But for more on Searcy County, you’ll have to wait until next month.

This month, we’re excited to tell you the story of the budding Northwest Arkansas town of Siloam Springs. This place belongs on a stamp, and nobody does a better job of highlighting this great place than our own Joe David Rice.

We’ll also introduce you to some of our state’s growing number of beekeepers. These men and women are helping curb the decline of our bee population, ensuring that these important pollinators can continue to do their duty.

You’ll also learn more about the Central Arkansas craft beer scene, which has grown rapidly over the last five years. These brewers are chasing their dreams and passion of creating high quality brews for their community, and I think they’re doing a great job of it.

So, fill a frosty mug and enjoy the latest edition of AY! We hope reading our magazine brings you as much joy as it does us to create it.


Heather Baker and family with jeep

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